Spring Break 2006 is just around the corner. What will you do with yours?

I had two requirements for this year’s spring break: sun and sand. I wanted to escape the freezing winter and get tan somewhere exotic and fun.

Last spring I went home and spent a week catching up on sleep. This year, I wanted to go to California and learn how to surf. But somewhere during the planning process, God changed my heart. It had never occurred to me that I should go somewhere to serve God, rather than my own selfish desires.

God tells us to go and serve the world. But how many of us actually take His words literally? Spring missions trips are one way many Eastern students put their faith into action.

Almost every summer since my freshman year of high school, I have gone south with Pennsylvania Christian Endeavor and worked in flood-damaged neighborhoods. I physically fixed houses, but I also feel like I gave hope to people whose lives were destroyed. For them to see someone coming all the way from New Jersey to help out was like a miracle.

In West Virginia, people live by faith. They have run-down homes, hardly enough money for food and no electricity. But what they do have is a faith so strong one can almost see it. They depend on God for every necessity. Can we say the same thing?

The people who received us thought we were there to help them, but in reality, it was our lives that were changed. Seeing the strength of their relationships with Christ made me want that for myself.

Because all of my needs were provided for, I was self-sufficient and stopped depending on God as much as I should. Serving God through my work in West Virginia and North Carolina helped me grow up a lot, both emotionally and spiritually.

Eastern offers students many opportunities to serve over spring break. Options range from building houses with Habitat for Humanity to visiting Christian ministries in Washington, D.C., and everything in between.

It’s not a big sacrifice of time or money to take a week out of my summer to go serve somewhere. But surrendering my week of spring break and sunshine and warmth to go get dirty is something far greater.

Matthew 25:34-40 tells us that whatever we do for the “least of these” we are doing for Jesus.

Each of us is called to care for the hungry, poor and sick of the world.

While we are blessed with food, warm dorms and clothing, many people struggle just to find a meal. Others shiver on the ground or in alleys every night of their lives.

These people are examples of Jesus, and it’s up to us to choose whether or not to serve him.

This spring break will provide awesome opportunities to make a difference in the world. We can deepen our relationship with Christ and probably gain a few friends.

Why not build a house instead of work on a tan?

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